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The data of clients of the Russian bank Alfa-Bank leaked to the Network


On June 22, a message appeared on the Darknet about the sale of a database of clients of the largest Russian banks. The seller did not specify how many records he has on hand but assured that he is ready to upload 5 thousand lines of information per week.

One of the Russian Newspapers had a screenshot of a test fragment of the Alfa-Bank database, which contains 64 lines. Each of them has the full name, city of residence, mobile phone number of the citizen, as well as the account balance and document renewal date.

A newspaper managed to reach up to six clients using these numbers. Two of them confirmed that they have an account with Alfa-Bank and confirmed the relevance of the balance.

Alfa-Bank confirmed that they know about the data leak of several dozen clients.
The seller of Alfa-Bank's database said that he also has confidential information of clients of other credit organizations.

"I can sell a database of VTB clients with a balance of 500 thousand rubles or more with an update from July 17 for 100 rubles per entry," claimed the seller. However, the Russian newspaper was not able to get test fragments of these databases.

The newspaper also contacted two other sellers who offered information about users of Gazprombank, VTB, Pochta Bank, Promsvyazbank, and Home Credit Bank.
Information about the account balance is classified as a Bank secret. Knowing such confidential details makes it easier for attackers to steal money using social engineering techniques.

"There are two ways to get bases on the black market. One of them is the leak of data by an insider from a Bank or company. The second option is through remote banking vulnerabilities," said Ashot Hovhannisyan, founder of the DLBI leak intelligence service.
According to him, the reason for the ongoing leaks is inefficient investments in security. Companies often protect their systems from hacking from outside, but not from insiders.

Russian experts gave tips on protecting a mobile Bank from fraudsters


Two-factor authentication and compliance with digital hygiene rules can protect users from hacking a mobile Bank on smartphone

According to experts, mobile banking programs are quite secure, so most often funds are stolen due to user errors.

“More often, cybercriminals call customers of financial institutions or use malware,” said Sergei Golovanov, a leading expert at Kaspersky Lab. In this case, users may accidentally give fraudsters the card details and login passwords.

Andrey Arsentiev, head of Analytics and Special Projects at InfoWatch Group, believes that any applications are vulnerable to hacking if malware is installed.

Vladimir Ulyanov, head of the Zecurion analytical center, is sure that users need to configure two-factor authentication to get an additional one-time code. At the same time, the specialist believes that the spyware installed on the smartphone can intercept the SMS code from the Bank. "It is more secure to perform operations and receive confirmation codes on different devices," Ulyanov said.

"Install the software on your phone only from authorized, approved sources (App Store and Google Play)," said Ruslan Suleymanov, Director of information technology at ESET Russia. In his opinion, customers of credit organizations need to have a separate card for online purchases, set daily limits for transfers, and regularly change passwords.

"You can't tell anyone your card details or login details to the customer Bank by telephone. Not a single bank makes such official requests on its behalf,” concluded Suleymanov.
According to the founder of DeviceLock Ashot Hovhannisyan, it is best not to use a mobile Bank, but to log in to your personal account on a computer protected by antivirus. If mobile banking is important, then you should stop using a jailbreak and installing dubious programs through alternative stores.

In addition, Roskachestvo experts have recommended that users should regularly update the software on their devices, even if they do not see a particular need for it. Otherwise, it can lead to unpleasant consequences.

Maze Ransomware Operators Leaked 2GB of Financial Data from Bank of Costa Rica (BCR)


Bank of Costa Rica (BCR) has been receiving threats from the threat actors behind Maze ransomware who have stolen credit card details from the bank, the ransomware gang started publishing the encrypted financial details this week.

The Banco de Costa Rica is one of the strongest state-owned commercial banks operated in Costa Rica, starting from humble origins of mainly being a private commercial bank, it expanded to become a currency issuer and one of the most renowned baking firms in Central America contributing largely in the financial development of the nation.

The hacker group behind the data leak have demanded a ransom from Banco de Costa Rica at various occasions, however, to their dismay they observed a lack of seriousness in the way the bank dealt with these previous leaks and it served as a primary reason that motivated the latest data leak, according to an interview with Maze ransomware operators.

As per the claims made by the attackers, Banco de Costa Rica's network remained insecure till February 2020; it was in August 2019 when they first compromised the bank's network and the second attempt was made in the month of February 2020 to see how the security has been improvised – if at all so.

The 2GB of data published by the Maze ransomware attackers on their leak site contains the details of at least 50 Mastercards and Visa credit cards or debit cards, a few being listed more than once.

As per the statements given by Brett Callow, a threat analyst with Emsisoft to ISMG, "Like other groups, Maze now weaponizes the data it steals,"

"The information is no longer simply published online; it's used to harm companies' reputations and attack their business partners and customers."

"The Maze group is a for-profit criminal enterprise who are out to make a buck," Callow says. "The credit card information has been posted for one of two reasons: Either to pressure BCR into paying and/or to demonstrate the consequences of non-compliance to their future victims," Callow further told.

Positive technologies: fraudsters can steal money from every second mobile bank


According to the research of Positive technologies, every second mobile banking application has a vulnerability through which fraudsters can steal the money of its users.

The company selected 14 mobile apps for the Android and IOS operating systems, which were downloaded more than 500 thousand times from the Google Play and App Store.

It is noted that in 13 out of 14 applications, access to personal user data is possible. Hackers can exploit 76% of vulnerabilities in mobile banks without physical access to the device.

"None of the studied mobile banking applications has an acceptable level of security. In every second mobile Bank, fraudulent transactions and theft of funds are possible. In five out of seven applications, logins and passwords from user accounts are threatened, and bank card data may be stolen in every third application,” experts conclude.

The company's experts advise users to set a PIN code to unlock the device to limit the ability of attackers to gain physical access and never click on links from strangers in SMS and messengers.

Group-IB regularly finds vulnerabilities in banking applications, but in practice, these weaknesses are rarely used because it is easier and cheaper for hackers to use social engineering, says Andrey Bryzgin, head of the Audit and Consulting Department of the Group-IB.

Previously, Positive Technologies identified 23% more cyberattacks in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of last year. The increase in cybercrime is associated with the coronavirus COVID-19.

Moreover, the number of virtual crimes began to grow. Fraudsters send emails about COVID-19 with links that lead to fake sites where users are asked to enter data from Bank cards.

Russian authorities arrested cyber criminals who sold billion counterfeit rubles on the dark web


Employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Nizhny Novgorod stopped the activities of a group engaged in the production of counterfeit money. Fakes in denominations of 5000, 2000 and 1000 were of such high quality that not every detector in stores could detect them.

High-quality counterfeit money was made in Nizhny Novgorod, from where it was delivered to almost all regions of Russia through the Hydra Internet resource. The criminal organization included several dozen people, and none of them personally knew each other.

Last year, Tatarstan opened the first criminal case under the article Production, storage, transportation or sale of counterfeit money or securities. The first counterfeit bills were found in the region. Then fake money began to appear in many regions of Russia.

For conspiracy, the attackers communicated exclusively through the periodically blocked by Roskomnadzor mirrors of the Internet resource Hydra. According to police officers, the accomplices knew each other only by nicknames on the Internet. The distribution of fakes was also carried out in a non-contact manner using special hiding places.

Wholesale lots from 500 thousand rubles ($6,750) went for 10-15% of the face value. But the greatest demand in the regions were small parties from 10 thousand to 150 thousand rubles ($135 - $2,000) counterfeiters sold for 30% of the nominal value.

When a buyer made a payment on Hydra using cryptocurrency, a shipment of fake money was sent from Moscow using fake passports through a transport company to accomplices. They left fake money in secret places, and then passed the coordinates to customers.

The identity of the organizers and producers of counterfeit money could be established only in the spring of this year. They were three residents of Nizhny Novgorod region Oleg Efimov, Ivan Averof and Andrey Skvortsov. Two sets of printing equipment for the production of counterfeit money of very high quality, color laser printers, laptops, a laminator, mock-ups of banknotes, threads for gluing into banknotes and blanks of emblem images were seized from the detainees.

It was established that the criminal group existed for about a year and printed and put into circulation about one billion rubles ($13,5 million).

In Kiev, a hacker group who used the vulnerability of banks to steal their clients' money was caught


The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced the termination of the acclivities of hackers who stole an average of 1.2 million dollars a year from the accounts of banking institutions.

According to the investigation, the attackers found vulnerabilities in the electronic payment document management system of banks, illegally transferred money of clients to the accounts of fictitious persons or transferred it to cryptocurrency. Hackers created a bot network of infected computers to conduct illegal operations on the Internet. "Thus, the members of the group stole from the accounts of banking institutions on average 30 million hryvnias ($1.2 million) a year," reported the press service of the SBU on Tuesday.

During 10 searches in Kiev and the region, as well as in Lviv, law enforcement officers seized computer equipment and mobile devices that were used by members of the group during illegal activities. Now the seized equipment is sent for examination.

A criminal case has been opened. If the attackers are found guilty, they face up to six years in prison.
It is worth noting that the Security Service of Ukraine recently exposed a large group of hackers associated with the Darknet.

Members of the group and third parties used server hosting equipment to conduct cyberattacks on the authorities and administration of Ukraine, critical infrastructure of Ukraine, as well as Ukrainian and world banks.

During the investigation, operatives detained the organizer of the group, who since 2011 provided its own server equipment for hosting, administering and distributing malware, bot networks and conducting cyberattacks.

In particular, DDoS attacks were carried out on strategic facilities in Ukraine and banking institutions of other states. The specified hosting was known on the Darknet network under the name "ProHoster" and "Bulletproof.space".

Data from more than half a million clients of Russian microfinance organizations has been put up for sale


The base of more than 1.2 million MFIs clients, which is in the top 10 on the market, is up for sale. It affects more than one company. Bistrodengi, Zaymer, Ekapusta found their customers in this base. According to experts, the data is collected from different places. Information can be used by fraudsters to make online loans.

The database includes full names, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth and passport data of Russians. The seller of the database does not disclose the name of the organizations. whose data he had, but most of the customers who answered the calls reported that they applied for loans to the Bistrodengi company.

Elena Stratieva, Director of Microfinance and Development, said that internal audits were carried out on the first day after the announcement was revealed.

She stressed that the level of data matches with the databases of individual companies is quite low, which may indicate a leak on the part of an agent that aggregates data for many financial institutions at once.

At the same time, according to her, the database includes not only data of individuals who were approved loans in 2017-2019, but also those who were refused. According to Federal law, MFIs do not store this much time.
It was also noted that the fact of data leakage from any MFIs or from several MFIs has not yet been established.

In turn, Olesya Bobkova, managing Director of Lime Zaim MFO, expressed the opinion that customer data could get into the network because of unscrupulous webmasters who still have user data in their databases. For example, most of these data sales ads contain inaccurate, outdated, and incomplete data that are not enough to use or harm customers. However, according to Bobkova, some hackers do not lose their attempts to monetize this database and bring information to black markets and forums.

Russian Bank reminds about the danger of transferring personal data to someone


Transferring personal data to someone (details of cards and accounts, passport data), you can become a victim of cyber fraud, so you can not do this in any case, recalled the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Sberbank Stanislav Kuznetsov.

"Even if you take a picture of your card and send it to someone — this is basically already a leak. You might as well throw your wallet with your salary in the trash," he said.

He also said that in the second half of 2019, Russian companies faced large-scale phishing. "Last year, several organized criminal groups working in this direction became more active. One of them has made a big step forward in expanding its criminal activities. This is the RTM hacking group, it is Russian-speaking and operates in Eastern Europe, including Russia".

According to him, using modern software, RTM sends phishing emails to tens of thousands of companies in the country 10-15 times a month. Mr. Kuznetsov added that many companies open emails infected with viruses. "In this way, criminals get access to the company's accounting documents — with the help of a virus, they send the company's funds to their Bank accounts and gradually withdraw them," he said.

According to Mr. Kuznetsov, Sberbank has already given law enforcement agencies materials about almost 20 criminals from the group. There are at least five such groups, he said.

"This is not a new type of crime, but in the second half of last year, Russia faced it for the first time on this scale. As a result, some institutions of the financial system, as well as small and medium-sized companies in various industries were affected," said Stanislav Kuznetsov.

Recall, according to a study by TAdviser and Microsoft, in 2019, 76% of Russian medium and small businesses faced cybersecurity incidents. The main source of threats, businessmen called e-mail and external Internet resources.

Insider Threat : Employees of Russian banks are massively recruited to get data


In Russia, there are 73 services that recruit insiders in Russian banks. This information was shared by Darknet researcher Anton Staver.

"Many groups providing such services is due to the amount of work that falls on them," explained Staver. According to the researcher, services that recruit Bank employees receive up to 50 orders a day, which is enough for the existence of an entire industry.

The expert said that customers of such data are usually competitors of banks, jealous spouses of customers, as well as hackers and scammers. Scammers often asked to choose a list of victims with the big account balance. At the same time, according to Staver, recruitment is most often “carried out by specialized structures”.

The expert noted that recruiters receive from customers about 15 thousand rubles ($240) for one employee of the Bank. During the work, the recruiter receives the search criteria, after which the client receives the contacts of the necessary person in Telegram or Jabber. It takes about 5-7 days to search for an insider.

Pavel Krylov, who runs a company specializing in the investigation of cybercrime, agrees with the research data. "Fraudulent schemes using personal data are now successful and effective, so attackers are actively looking for insiders in banks," said the expert. He also noted that various criminal groups taking advantage of theft and withdrawal options use schemes with recruitment for monetization.

The cost of recruitment ranges from 7 thousand to 100 thousand rubles ($112-$1600) and depends on the complexity of the task. If the security service of the Bank works effectively, the price will be much higher. Employees are usually hired through social networks, instant messengers, personal contacts, LinkedIn.

Russian hackers switched from Russian banks to foreign ones


Two of the most dangerous Russian-language hacker groups over the past year have almost stopped attacking Russian banks and concentrated on foreign banks. Damage from targeted attacks on credit institutions fell by 14 times.

"Until 2018, Russian-speaking groups often attacked banks in Russia and the CIS, but over the past year, this trend has changed. Now the attackers focus mainly on foreign banks and organizations," said experts.

"New hacker groups often start working in their region: this was the case with Cobalt, with Silence in Russia, this is happening now with SilentCards in Africa. Home regions are a testing ground for them. Having worked out the techniques, they move on. For example, the same Russian-speaking groups focused on goals in Asia, Africa, Europe and America," added the representative of Group-IB.

Recall that in the world, according to Group-IB, there are five major hacker groups that hack financial institutions, three of them Cobalt, Silence and MoneyTaker are Russian-speaking.

A representative of Kaspersky Lab confirmed the statement about this trend. He noted that the attackers switched to the countries of Eastern Europe and the CIS, which are less protected.

"But a new generation of hackers will soon grow up who will again attack banks in their homeland," predicts the representative of Group-IB.

Experts have already recorded an increase in the number of Russian-speaking young people who are still engaged in "harmless attacks".

In addition, cyber experts Group-IB identified the most frightening trend of 2019. This is the use of cyberweapons in open military operations. According to the representative of the company, interstate conflicts have now acquired new features and cyber activity has begun to play a key role in this confrontation. Thus, experts found many previously unknown groups sponsored by states.

However, the activities of such hackers can go unnoticed for years. And their actions can destabilize the situation in the states, as well as cause social and economic damage.

Mumbai Techie Loses Rs 3 Lakh, Card Info Used 56 Times Abroad



A few days before Diwali, a Mumbai based engineer on a maternity leave to look after her new-born woke up to a shocking discovery from her bank as she was informed that she has fallen prey to a debit card fraud. While she was asleep, her debit card was used online to carry out 56 transactions, resulting in a loss of Rs 3.3 lakh, reported Times of India.

Around 2:30 am an automated phone call from the bank in which she has a savings account, alerted her about transactions carried out on her debit card and told her to reach out to customer care if the transactions had not been made by her. Upon receiving her response, customer care got her card blocked immediately and she also lodged a complaint with the Kanjumarg police, however, there are no remarkable leads on the case yet.

The unfortunate incident happened just a few days before Diwali and ruined the Diwali plans for the Mumbai techie's family. Notably, the transactions were made internationally and the owner did not receive any text or call requesting a one-time password (OTP). According to the statements given by the victim and her husband, they had never used the particular debit card internationally before. They had used it lately on domestic websites while shopping for baby products.

What experts have to say about the fraud? 


While commenting on the matter, cybersecurity expert, Vicky Shah said, "There could be various reasons how this happened. One of the possibilities is that the card could have been cloned. When a card is used internationally, an OTP is not required. Another possibility is that the card details were compromised. There were recent reports about details of 1.3 million cards being leaked. It’s a matter under police investigation." He also pointed out the RBI norms, which bound the bank to reverse the lost amount back into the victim's bank account within a time frame of 10 days as the transaction was carried out internationally.

Meanwhile, the victim's husband tweeted, "Bank representatives should have noticed that something was wrong when dozens of transactions were made so early in the morning. They should have called us before approving the transactions."

The Central Bank will strengthen control over IT-security of credit institutions


In Russia, hackers may be involved in measures to strengthen control over the stability of credit institutions to cyber attacks. IT-auditors may be obliged in a test mode to crack the security systems of Russian banks with the involvement of white hackers.

Artem Sychev, Deputy head of the information security department of the Central Bank, said that the regulator, together with the FSB and the Federal Service for Technical and Export Control, is currently developing standards to assess the quality of work of independent companies that verify the reliability of bank infrastructure.

The representative of the Central Bank refused to clarify any details, however, sources say that one of the main standards for IT auditors will be a "full simulation of cyber attacks" with the participation of specialists with the same skills as potential hackers.

It is assumed that during such tests, specialists will reproduce the actions of real attackers, from penetration into the company's network to gain full control over its infrastructure or individual applications.

The head of the information security department of the Moscow Credit Bank Vyacheslav Kasimov agreed that the only way to qualitatively assess the security of the Bank's IT system can only be a complete simulation of a hacker attack.

Banks often make checks of their stability not for themselves, but for the regulator, so it has the right to set its own rules for conducting IT-audit, said Viktor Dostov, head of the Electronic Money Association.

According to Dostov, additional control will strengthen the protection of Russian money in the conditions of regular leakage of information from credit organizations.

Earlier E Hacking News reported that the Central Bank has a new punishment for banks for poor cyber defense. It will launch a new feature for credit institutions, it will be the risk profile on the level of information security. Depending on the risk profile on the level of cyber security, the Central Bank will give recommendations to banks. A financial institution that receives a low-risk profile will have consequences ranging from enhanced supervision to penalties.

Customers of Private Sector Banks Facing Problems in Net and Mobile Banking




Customers of several private sectors and well-known banks complained regarding encountering many issues in net and mobile banking in the course of the last few days, those of HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and YES Bank are comprehended to have been most influenced by these 'outages'.

The issue, which made its appearance on the 1st of October, is by all accounts has been halfway settled, however numerous customers kept on facing certain issues while signing in to their accounts through the Internet and other apps.

While bank executives note that a mix of the festive season and the beginning of the month when salaries are credited just as some IT issue may have been the other reasons to have expanded the heap on servers. Following the restrictions at Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank, withdrawals had additionally increased after frenzy among certain depositors.

While the HDFC Bank, which is in the middle of a 'festive sale', appears to have briefly withdrawn an extra security feature for logging into net banking. Kotak Mahindra Bank's net banking page shows this message: “Due to high volume, you may experience some delay while accessing Net Banking. We will fix this soon. We regret any inconvenience caused.”

And at the same time, HDFC Bank spokesperson states that “Transactions through both net banking and mobile (app) banking have been very slow at times over the last couple of days, but they are going through. Though there isn’t nothing to be unduly worried about, we regret the inconvenience caused (to our customers)."

Nevertheless, the banks have guaranteed that they're making a decent attempt to resolve the issue and will ensure that the operations mentioned become, to a great extent, standardized at the earliest opportunity.

The Central Bank of Russia will fine banks for weak cyber defense


On September 12, 2019, it became known that the Central Bank has a new punishment for banks for poor cyber defense.  By the end of the year, the Central Bank will launch a new feature for credit institutions, it will be the risk profile on the level of information security.

This indicator, according to Artem Sychev, the first Deputy Director of the Information Security Department of the Bank of Russia, will show the likelihood of problems for the Bank due to non-compliance with cybersecurity standards.

The risk profile will be formed on the basis of four characteristics, including the share of unauthorised card transactions and the bank's readiness to repel an attack. In addition, the risk profile will be taken into account in assessing the economic situation of the bank along with the amount of capital, profitability, liquidity, quality of management, etc.

Depending on the risk profile on the level of cyber security, the Central Bank will give recommendations to banks.

The calculation of the risk profile will allow us to evaluate how the bank’s management responds to emerging cyber threats, the Central Bank added.

A financial institution that receives a low-risk profile will have consequences ranging from enhanced supervision to penalties. Moreover, this will affect the loan terms at the interbank market.

Sychev stressed that the Bank of Russia sees a connection between the way the Bank relates to information security issues and its financial stability.

Nobody before in the Russian Federation or in other countries has determined such indicators that help the regulator (the Central Bank) to form an opinion about the situation, whether it achieves the goals of the regulation or not from the point of view of information security,” Sychev explained.

It is worth noting that on September 12, the Bank of Russia recorded a “rather serious” cyber attack on Russian banks from Brazil, said Artem Sychev.

According to him, it was a BIN-attack, in which bank card numbers are generated using a special program.

Sychev noted that the direct interaction of each of the attacked banks separately with the representative of Brazil did not give results. The attacks stopped only after the interaction of the Central Bank with the Brazilian regulator.

Sberbank helped one of the largest US banks to prevent a cyber attack


In July, Sberbank helped one of the largest US banks to prevent a cyberattack and avoid damage of several million dollars. Deputy Chairman of the Board of Sberbank Stanislav Kuznetsov announced this at the Eastern Economic Forum.

"At the end of July, our cyber defence center recorded an attack on one of the largest American banks. We informed the Bank, informed the relevant departments of payment systems to prevent the withdrawal of funds. At least several million dollars were saved," he said.

At the same time, Kuznetsov refused to tell which Bank was exposed to attack.

Kuznetsov shared the details of the cyberattack scheme. According to him, the fraudsters managed to hack one of the acquiring terminals and conduct a large number of operations. In the United States, PIN verification of transactions up to $130 is not required. As a result, at one moment the resources of several banks were attacked through a large number of operations.

At the same time, he stressed that this is a clear example of the fact that credit institutions should detect such attacks in an automated mode and not allow any actions directed against customers of both Russian and foreign organizations.

In addition, Stanislav Kuznetsov said at the Forum that Sberbank recorded about 2 thousand attacks on its systems in the first half of the year and prevented possible damage from them in the amount of at least 25 billion rubles.

According to him, the Bank noted the growth of social engineering."This is a trend to collect data about a person and corporations, and the second trend - we see that scammers focus on those companies that are poorly protected, and this is small and medium-sized businesses," he noted.

At the end of his speech, Kuznetsov said that North Korea's attacks on Russian banks are a myth, the threat to Russian resources comes "from another direction".

It is worth noting that this is the Fifth Eastern Economic Forum, held in Vladivostok on September 4-6.